Fortunate Mistakes: An Editorial

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By: Teresa Sarkela –

I was excited to finally purchase my last required book for my last semester of college. However, and embarrassingly enough, it was the wrong one (let alone the fact I ended up reading 27 pages of it before realizing what I had done). My reading assignment is now late, I spent a half hour reading the wrong book, and though I’m out $14, I will not be returning the misfit text.

The pages of this particular book were full of short clips into people’s lives, some struggling with careers, loss, and heat displacement. One character I came across in this compilation was an English widower, who often wandered outside and reflected on the mistakes and missed opportunities of her long life:

“I’d look at the sky and think, if you’re worthless, if you de- spise yourself, but you’re able to see the best, most beautiful things that the world can offer, then you’ll never get there yourself…”

If we dwell on what we have failed at, whether it was a missed job opening, bad test, or wrong book purchase, we may miss an incredible opportunity to gain an unexpected perspective. Though they may be embarrassing or even emotionally scarring,
I have learned it is easier to admit mistakes with acceptance and laughter rather than curl up in them. I consider it a fortunate failure that I grabbed the wrong book and met this little English widow: a reminder that sometimes when we make small mistakes, we are led to big accomplishments.

I now intend to keep the misfit, irreplaceable book tucked neatly on my rickety, made-from-scratch bookshelf.


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